Monday, November 9, 2009
But when we gaze at a still life, when - even though we did not pursue it - we delight in its beauty, a beauty borne away by the magnified and immobile figuration of things, we find pleasure in the fact that there was no need for longing, we may contemplate something we need not want, may cherish something we need not desire. So this still life, because it embodies a beauty that speaks to our desire but was given birth by someone else's desire, because it cossets our pleasure without in any way being part of our own projects, because it is offered to us without requiring the effort of desiring on our part: this still life incarnates the quintessence of Art, the certainty of timelessness. In the scene before our eyes - silent, without life or motion - a time exempt of projects is incarnated, perfection purloined from duration and its weary greed - pleasure without desire, existence without duration, beauty without will.
For art is emotion without desire.
[image via here]
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Sundance Channel aired a special on George Whitman, ex-patriot and owner of Shakespeare & Co., entitled Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man. At the end of the documentary, Whitman recites the poem below. I fell in love with his cadence, the serenity in his gaze, the simplicity of that moment he chose to share his poem, the eccentricity of his haircut. I’ve memorized his poem and it’s morphed into mantra of sorts; I catch myself thinking the words without realizing I’m doing so.
There was one brightest star, one face -
One image from afar filled with syruped grace
Each poem is her heart’s fantasy
Each flower and tree is framed within her memory
Each dream, each midnight, and each dawn
Are garments, thoughts of her put on
Each beam of light from the imperial blue
With her in falls the good